Ease-Of-Use & Trust: How Does Your People Counter Stack Up?

Photo: EMEA Pulse Report

When implementing a people counting solution in your retail stores, it is critically important that you consider the impact that its introduction will have on the main users of the platform - your employees. Firstly, carefully evaluate all aspects of the platform’s ease-of-use, as it relates to your store associates’ knowledge of technology as well as their data requirements. Ensuring these boxes are checked will help to drive both adoption and adherence to your people counting solution. Secondly, the platform should build trust in the data it provides through transparent and open access to the information.

In Part One and Two of our What You Need In A People Counter blog series, we explored questions around the accuracy and future-proof nature of solutions that retailers must ask themselves before purchasing a traffic solution. In this blog, we outline what you should be looking at when it comes to ensuring its ease-of-use, as well as trustworthiness.

  1. How Accurate Is The Solution?

  2. Is The Solution Future Proof?

  3. Is The Solution Easy To Use?

  4. Is It Trustworthy And Transparent?

  5. Does It Have Global Capabilities?

  6. Does It Comply With Privacy Regulations?

3. Is The Solution Easy To Use?

3.1 Does It Integrate Easily With Your Existing Systems? 

3.2 Does It Have A Robust UI?

3.3 Can You Easily Access Your Data? 

Cover: Optimizing your Asset Protection Operations with Analytics

3.1 Does It Integrate Easily With Your Existing Systems? 

Many enterprises have already joined the move to store systems and business processes in the cloud. The main concern now is identifying cloud-based solutions that easily and automatically integrate with legacy systems. So what does this have to do with people counters? 

When shopping around for a people counting solution, take a look at whether it integrates important data from internal systems such as POS, Workforce Management, and promotional calendars. By doing this, you can layer in-store traffic-related metrics such as shoppers per labor hour and conversion to better forecast labor allocation and compare store productivity.

Similarly, if your organization prefers to ingest data into its own systems and tools for analysis, you will want to confirm if your people counting solution provides you with an API that can send data to your data warehouse or internal systems, such as business intelligence tools and other applications. Why? The shopper traffic data can add layered context to other data sets that provide a holistic view of your organization’s strategic and tactical business decisions.

Checklist Time

Does your people counting solution provide…

  • Vendor and system integrator tools to ensure timely, efficient, and successful deployments?

  • Integration into existing systems, tools, and other applications?

  • Cloud-based data management?

Stay Ahead With RetailNext

  • Save time and money with a simple 'plug-and-play' installation.  

  • Access real-time data within seconds on the user interface and APIs.

  • Slice and dice data via the personalized analytics page, an integrated business intelligence tool.

  • Avoid a patchwork of products that don't talk to each other with RetailNext’s robust integration and APIs. 

  • Easily integrate existing cameras/sensors with the RetailNext platform.

Image: Order Desks

3.2 Does It Have A Robust UI

Ensuring that your people counting solution has a user-friendly interface (UI) is more important than you might think. The UI is the graphical layout of an application, consisting of various components such as the buttons, text, images, and other items the user interacts with. The quality of your people counter’s UI design, and how it synthesizes data, will determine how easy it is for your store managers to use.

The Golden Rules Of A Good UI

  • It clearly presents important information in an obvious way to facilitate ease of learning and use.

  • It is simple with an even balance between maximizing functionality and maintaining simplicity through progressive disclosure of information.

  • The user controls the UI by initiating and controlling all actions.

  • It is forgiving so that users can make mistakes that are reversible while exploring. 

  • It is aesthetically pleasing by providing a pleasant work environment.

Why You Need A Good UI

  • Adoption and Adherence - If your business has invested in a new people counting solution, you will want to ensure that the UI is as robust as possible to drive adoption and, furthermore, adherence to it. A badly designed UI can negatively affect the adoption and adherence to a new tool. If a new platform adds to employees’ workload and slows them down, they’re likely to revert to old ways of working and reject the new offering.

  • Efficiency - A streamlined UI/UX is directly translated into a streamlined workflow. This allows your employees to get more done each day and enjoy doing it.

  • Saving Costs - With increased efficiency comes increased savings on time, which will allow your employees to concentrate on more tasks during their day, therefore, increasing their productivity.

RetailNext Was Built With Retailers In Mind

  • The RetailNext product was expressly built to ensure the most intuitive experience for retailers. 

  • Through conditional formatting, RetailNext dashboards reveal new opportunities for businesses to optimize. The UI aggregates store performance data to avoid overwhelming users by reporting on masses of individual events. 

  • RetailNext’s kinetic heat map also aggregates all video analytic tracks to provide insightful data visualization of hot and cold spots versus a complicated representation of tracks. 

  • Through an easy-to-use browser-based UI, RetailNext users can independently export videos

  • The fast, simple browser and mobile interfaces get you up and running in no time.

Cover: Performance Dashboard

3.3 Can You Easily Access Your Data? 

Your store associates are on the go all the time. For them, ease-of-use is synonymous with ease-of-access. Enabling store associates with quick and easy access to store data anywhere, and at any time, is a determining factor in how easy it is for them to use a platform. This is where your people counting solution can win by ensuring that a mobile version of the platform is available. Mobile apps are one of the most effective ways to cut through the noise and busyness of an employee’s day:

  • Increased Access - mobile apps allow users to have easy, functional access to information, products, services, and processes that they need in real-time.

  • Increased Visibility - mobile apps help to ensure that employees are in the know by connecting with hard-to-reach deskless and remote employees.

We live in an information age, where quick and easy access to business-critical information is not just needed, it’s expected. Ease-of-access is oftentimes also linked to the proprietary rights over data. Many people counting solutions require retailers to request the data they’re looking for, as opposed to providing open access to it as owners of the data. So consider this - how easily can you extract your own data from your people counting solution? By limiting access to the data, you hinder your ability to pipe data into various formats for measuring and reporting on performance.

Image: Mobile Traffic Dashboard

Checklist Time

Does your people counting solution provide…

  • A mobile version of its platform?

  • Access to all store employees or just a select audience? 

  • Instant access to your real-time store data?

Stay Ahead With RetailNext

  • The RetailNext Mobile Application has key metrics and insights in a simple dashboard-style display. 

  • Users can access the mobile app to quickly check their stores' traffic, occupancy, and more.

  • Through the mobile app, view real-time data and video on the go. 

  • Receive reports directly to your inbox and get a customized analysis of data, based on your business objectives.

  • RetailNext’s automated reporting also ensures that employees save time and avoid being stuck behind the desk completing administrative tasks. 

Put To The Test

“The platform is slick and easy to use, it integrates with most of your existing hardware and it’s completely tailored to the needs of a retailer. There are tons of features that leverage RetailNext’s underlying strength in computer vision analytics and their deep retail knowledge to deliver a product that really is impressive.” - Maurice Edwards, Managing Principal at EPIC Risk Consulting.

4. Trust and Transparency

As retailers face ongoing challenges from the widespread labor shortage and concerns over the spread of Covid-19 variants, they are relying on real-time data to help them accurately identify top performers for reward and recognition, as well as make sound business decisions to improve low-performing areas. So how can you trust the underlying data?

People counters that provide on-demand recorded video are critical tools that sort fact from fiction and, ultimately, build trust in the data. When your corporate teams, store managers, and store associates are enabled with the ability to verify their data, it opens the door to a data-driven performance culture.  

The ability to self-audit your data also takes the guesswork out of understanding what is happening in your stores. By spot-checking the video, you can put to bed unanswered questions about "why were there traffic counts after-hours yesterday?” and, "how can it be true that we had 50% more traffic this Thanksgiving compared to last?". This will ultimately enable you to remain agile and optimize your businesses against varying marketplace challenges. 

Checklist Time

Does your people counter solution provide…

  • The ability to self-audit your data at any time?

  • Actionable insights to unanswered questions?

Stay In The Driver’s Seat With RetailNext 

  • Get the buy-in of corporate teams and store associates on the accuracy of your data.

  • Quickly view real-time data to identify top and low performers.

  • Benchmark store positions against both goals and peers to understand the specific actions needed to improve store performance.

  • Receive proactive, prescriptive recommendations to improve store performance.

  • Receive custom-configurable reports (PDF and XLS) via email.

Cover: Performance Pulse - Apr 2020

Put To The Test

As one of the largest global beauty brands, Estee Lauder relies on accurate data to drive a deep understanding of its customers. It joined the RetailNext platform after experiencing several challenges with a leading competitor, including the inability to re-audit its sensors. Among the many benefits that Estee Lauder now enjoys about the RetailNext platform is its ability to self-audit and provide 20% more accuracy.   

“RetailNext's advanced suite of shopper journey analytics, covering the full path of a shopper in-store, delivers deep insights into how customers shop and interact with our product, fixtures, and in-store technology. This technology allows us to continually test, measure, and optimize our business in near real-time. RetailNext has been great to work with as we have rolled out their technology and we look forward to our continued partnership.” - Adolfo Rodríguez, VP, Global Retail Operations, Estee Lauder

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About the author:

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Judith Subban, Marketing Communications Manager, RetailNext

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